Portavogie cyclist, David Hamilton (North Down CC) won the John Moore Memorial road race on Saturday 28th February at Carryduff. Hamilton, who was runner up behind his team mate David Watson the previous Sunday, made a bold chase across to the two leaders in the last few miles of the race. Despite his late efforts and being very active during the 56 miles race he beat Andrew Bye(Newry) and Craig McAauley (Roe Valley) in the finishing sprint.
James Curry (Banbridge) led in the rest of the chasing group for fourth place with Angus Fyffe (Tomac CC Belgium) fifth and North Down man David Watson sixth.
This was a very tough race around a hilly seven miles circuit and the aggressive racing in wintry conditions resulted in only half of the eighty starters complete the race.
What we now call the John Moore Memorial race began back in 1989 as the Castlereagh Grand Prix. The promoting club was called the Belvoir Road Club and the winner in 89 was Mark Kane (Northern cc). The Belvoir changed its name to Castlereagh CC and in 2002 the race became a memorial to club stalwart John Moore. Ards man Martyn Irvine, the former World Scratch race Track Champion, is one of an illustrious list of winners.
Speaking after the prize giving Hamilton said “I’m really proud to win this cup, it’s a great race. On the last lap we could see the two leaders just up the road. I thought it’s now or never and took off after them on the drag up to the last corner. When I caught them, they tried to get me to come through to the front but i just sat tight. I used my head …there was only a mile to the finish but I recovered enough to win the sprint. I’ve used a single speed bike this winter and pedalled smaller gears and I feel better for it. I ride from Portavogie to Stormont where I work and that’s a big part of my training. I’m looking forward to the Tour of Ards now which is two weeks ahead.”
The North Down club had a big entry in the main race and first to feature in an early breakaway was James Ambrose who was in a leading ten man group until mid distance. Shaun Carey was at the front of the second big group to finish for twelfth place with Andrew Gregg, Barry Hamilton and Richard McCullough all finishing in a depleted bunch.
The supporting A4 race was won by Killinchy Cycling Clubs Paul Crossan who attacked late for a solo victory. Paul Kirk (North Down) sprinted well to place fourth while Ards cc riders Paul McMinn and Richard Hanna finished mid bunch.
Nathan Keown (North Down) did a strong race in the Errigal CC youth series in Dobhar, Donegal. Nathan was third in the under 14 category while Katie Armstrong had the bad luck to puncture at the same venue. North Down CC rider Lewis Ferguson ended the Spring Series in 4th place overall while Claire Oakley (XMTB) was 2nd in the women’s category. Killinchy rider Michael Rauch took 3rd in the B men’s category.
Report by Brendan Kirk